The one thing I love about Running Wild with Bear Grylls (besides everything) is that each week a clear story line develops. Week one with Zac Efron, you had a three-way battle between nature, a movie star and that movie star’s shirt. Week two with Ben Stiller, you had a man clearly uncomfortable in the wild, who learned to hate the wild even more. Now, this week, with special guest Channing Tatum, the story seemed to be Bear Grylls clearly recognizing that Channing Tatum is a reasonably physically fit person who may be able to hold his own in the wilderness. So, naturally, Bear Grylls upped the ante in trying to kill him. Somewhere along the way, I think a genuine mutual respect and physical attraction developed (I can’t prove that second part).
Here are the most pivotal moments of Bear Grylls and Channing Tatum’s journey through the Sierra Wilderness of Yosemite, California.
- Things we learn very early on this episode: Channing Tatum’s laugh is a demonic cackle, the likes of which even survivalist Bear Grylls has never heard.
- “I’ve never done a backflip before,” Channing says, after Bear quite casually suggests they backflip out of a helicopter. I believe him, until he proceeds to do the most graceful shit I’ve ever seen in my life.
- I’m actually going to present the next three images, which all happened within 30 seconds of each other, without any context. It’s up to you to decide whether they are from Running WIld, or a movie about two masculine males who trek into the wilderness to find adventure and forbidden love.
- Channing and Bear happen across an adorable tiny scorpion, the likes of which could easily kill grown men. “If that bit you, you would die,” Bear says, before chopping it in half and eating it. He then feeds the other half to Channing. Sometimes (all the time), I don’t understand the thought process of Bear Grylls.
- Frustrated that Channing is apparently immune to scorpion poison, Bear decides that the best option for dinner is an even deadlier rattlesnake that the two come across. This show takes a turn for the murderous, when Channing gets put in charge of chopping said snake’s head off. I guess NBC is okay with it because it’s for survival, and stuff. Although, survival doesn’t really explain making a necklace of the tail OR the smearing of blood on Channing’s face.
- With storm clouds rolling in, Bear doesn’t think it is a good idea to camp on the summit they just climbed. “We’re going to find somewhere smarter to camp,” pointing to a rock ledge inches from a 400 foot drop of certain death. Again, just like every other week, Bear Grylls and I disagree on the definition of certain words.
- “You know when something seems like a really good idea, and then suddenly feels like a really bad idea. That’s right now”—Channing Tatum’s thoughts both right before he does a solo repel down the face of a mountain, and on his first day on set of Step Up 2: The Streets.
- After failing to dispatch the actor with scorpion poison, rattle snake poison or repelling backwards down a mountain, Bear switches to a forward repel, which is akin to simply jumping off a cliff while kind of holding a rope. Channing, inexplicably, survives this. “What the fuck are you?” Bear thought to himself, probably.
- With their rock climbing adventure behind them, Channing and Tatum leave the wilderness the only way they know how … strapped underneath a helicopter. Just like Batman did that one time. Which begs the question, have you ever seen Bear Grylls and Batman in the same room?
Next week on Running Wild we have guest adventurer Tom Arnold. So all that capability, endurance and fortitude that Channing Tatum exhibited this week? Let’s just go ahead and expect the opposite of that.